Revamping teaching system in tertiary institutions

l Tenzin Lhamo, Thimphu


To enhance teaching-learning process at the tertiary education level, the concerned officials from the relevant agencies attended a five-day workshop, themed ‘Student-Centred Education’, at Royal Institute of Management hall last week.

Of many teaching models that prevail in the education system, conceiving, designing, implementing and operating (CDIO) model is the most effective framework but this has not been put into effective practice so far. Many educationists agree that it is of paramount importance to implement CDIO model in Bhutan so that the knowledge base for students become more.

One of facilitators, Lee Chong Hwa from Singapore Polytechnic International (SPI), said that the purpose of organizing workshop was to build capabilities in developing students’ centred education emphasizing more on active learning approaches and curriculum designs.

“We are attempting to bring some changes in our education system. The existing trend is that students learn what teachers teach. Our focus is more on teachers despite knowing the fact that it should be students who has to be given the utmost importance. But now we are going to break this trend and contemplate more on students so that they get a fair share of knowledge, especially the students in tertiary institutions, in their own ways,” said Namgay Dem, an associate lecturer.

She said that should the new system work, teachers’ role in the classes will be to guide the students only.

“We are trying to revamp the process. Mostly probably, we will be implementing this new approach by the beginning of the next academic session,” she said.

Another facilitator, Goh Siew Hong  from Singapore Polytechnic International, said that aligning to the changing time is the best solution to maintain the values of teaching-learning process.

“Conventional ways of teaching and learning may not work in future considering the fast technological advancement nowadays. Teachers and lecturers have to innovate new ways to made impact in what they do professionally. Thus, designing the curriculum with more emphasis on students, at the moment, is more realistic,” said the facilitator.

According to a participant, Tenzin, it is time to raise the bar for Bhutanese students. He said that time is in calling for some major refurbishments in our education system.

“Look at Singapore. That tiny nation has become the most advanced country in the world and I am sure that Singaporeans would have thought out of the box and designed all new approaches and techniques that helped them to reach at this height. We also have to think like them and adopt new ways to ensure developments, not just in the field of education,” he said.

Lhapchu from Samtse College of Education said that the workshop was very enriching. “In last five days, I could learn many new things. I have learnt that students can be taught effectively without adhering to active teaching process,” he said.

An associate lecturer at RIM, Chongu Zangpo, said that RIM is looking forward to introduce students–centred learning model soon.

“At the end of the day, the most important thing is that students should get a quality education. We are willing to adopt any model that befits the students’ aptitude,” said Chongu Zangpo.

Meanwhile, the workshop was organized and funded by Royal civil Service Commission (RCSC) in the collaboration with the Temasek Foundation International, Singapore, Singapore Polytechnic International and RIM. 26 officials from different agencies attended it.

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